Ms Rebecca Lang

Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA)
February 2019
Each issue we ask someone from the alcohol and other drugs sector to share a little about their work and life.

This weekend I will…have dinner with a friend, catch up on some reading and play music and dance around the house (I live on my own so there’s only the dog to judge my moves).  If I’m being super honest, I’ll also give in to my Bold and the Beautiful dependence (I watch it because it helps me keep tabs on the patriarchy, I swear!  Also, because it’s been a constant in my life since my Uni days and the Forresters feel like the dysfunctional family I never had).

I wish I'd never…bought into the idea of marriage – divorce is a lot of paperwork!  Though it did expand my anecdote repertoire, so it wasn’t all bad.  Being married also inspired one of my tattoos and taught me quite a lot about being an adult, which is useful.  I’m very grateful to have led quite a privileged life with wonderful family and friends, so I don’t feel like I’ve got much to regret.  I do miss living in the country (I grew up just outside Byron Bay in Ewingsdale), but I’ll never regret moving to Brisbane (even though Queenslanders can be quite annoying around State of Origin time).

I'd originally planned to work…as a lawyer, because I loved the TV show LA Law growing up (alright, maybe it had quite a bit to do with Corbin Bernsen).  But then someone told me legal practice wasn’t that exciting, so I got an Arts degree instead, with a double major in media studies (feminist film theory).  Not especially useful for getting a job, but I think I’ve made the most of it and I’ve got some fabulous insights on the work of Lars von Trier if anyone is interested.

The qualities I most value in my colleagues are…honesty, intelligence, adaptability, humour and telling me when I’ve got food stuck in my teeth.  The colleagues in the AOD sector are second to none, there are just so many fabulous people!

If I had more time, I'd…get a Master of Philosophy to go with my Arts degree and ruminate my way through the world.

For my next holiday…I’m planning to pick my sister up in LA and go on a road trip from San Francisco to Vancouver.  I’d love to check out the Redwoods and poke about in a few cannabis dispensaries along the way through Oregon and Washington State.

Career wise, I’m most proud of…being a part of something bigger than me.  The Qld AOD Sector Network has done some truly remarkable things in bringing the NGO and public AOD sectors together and I’m super excited about our treatment and harm reduction outcomes framework’s imminent release.  When we started this journey in 2014 after we developed the treatment service delivery framework there were so many people who said it couldn’t be done.  Being appointed to ANACAD is also something I humblebrag about a bit.

The key priorities for the AOD sector going forward are…figuring out how we can increase the number of places in our treatment system without diluting the specialist nature of our workforce (so slow growth) and supporting translational research in all areas of drug policy.  Re-establishing our national peak body as the voice of the sector in the public narrative around drugs is also important.  It’s also beyond time to reframe the relationship between health and law enforcement in the drug policy space.

My vision for the AOD sector… in Queensland is a treatment and harm reduction system that is well resourced, stable, and accessible.

Rebecca Lang

Rebecca is the CEO of the Qld Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA), the peak body for the non-government AOD treatment and harm reduction sector in Qld and a member of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and other Drugs (ANACAD), the principal advisory body to the Australian Government.

She previously worked with the West Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies (WANADA) to develop the Standard for Culturally Secure Practice (AOD Sector), the first AOD sector specific accreditation standard.  Rebecca has also worked as an auditor in the health and community services sector, accrediting services to standards such as ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems), QIC Health and Community Services Standards, the Qld Disability Support Standards, the Commonwealth Disability Employment Standards and the Commonwealth Home and Community Care Standards